What is conditioning in sports? All the details and facts

What is conditioning in sports? All the details and facts

Lenah Ann
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:24 PM

Conditioning varies from sport to sport. Although people often wonder what conditioning is in sports and end up thinking that it is just fitness training, they could not be far from the truth. It is the base work that is needed for a given sport. Read on to get a full understanding of what conditioning is in sports.

What is conditioning in sports?
Athletes working out in the gym, doing pushups with dumbbells. Photo: Thomas Barwick
Source: Getty Images

Conditioning training is required by all sports. It involves training the body to reach the desired state of any athlete. This type of training is usually intensive during the preparation phase of the competition. Find more details about conditioning in sports.

What is conditioning in sports?

It is the body’s ability to accomplish the task required for preparation for a sport and in injury prevention. It should be sport-specific and mainly developed during the pre-season. Everything the body goes through during training is regarded as conditioning.

In sports that have long competitive phases, maintenance is key to prevent reconditioning. The intensity, timing, and continued training are vital, and if anything is not done well, it will decrease the performance of an athlete, leaving them at risk of injury.

What is physical conditioning in sports?

It is the adaptation of the body to various systems exercises and programs, through the development of physical fitness. It is done by combining different types of exercises such as strength, flexibility, and resistance training which help to strengthen the muscles and shape the body.

What is the meaning of conditioning in sports
Three multiracial athletes doing warm-up exercises in the park. Photo: Maskot
Source: Getty Images

The five-physical conditioning in sports includes; body composition, muscular strength, flexibility, muscular, and cardio-respiratory endurance.

Importance of physical conditioning

It has both mental and physical benefits. These benefits come in handy for an athlete in any kind of sport and include:

Mental importance

There are various benefits that come with constant exercise. Unlike the physical benefits where they are visible; biceps formation, healthy heart rates, and control of heavy breathing, with the mind, it is somewhat different.

Below, you will find some incredible things this kind of exercise does to the mind.

It increases the self-confidence of an athlete on and off the field.

Increases and optimizes cognitive skills.

It promotes the mental strength of an athlete.

Physical importance

Conditioning is not only beneficial to the mind, but also to the body. When an athlete is constantly exposed to this kind of exercise, there would definitely be notable end results to surfaces like his neck, mobility, strength, techniques, and many more.

What is conditioning in high school sports?
Three athletes during an indoor cycling class in a fitness studio. Photo: Thomas Barwick
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  • It helps produce players with resilience and strength.
  • The techniques and power of an athlete are optimized.
  • Helps reduce the number of injuries during a game.
  • Enhances the player’s performance
  • Improves the well-being of a player and as a result, becomes better at their discipline and other sports.
  • A well-conditioned athlete takes a longer duration before getting tired.

What is the meaning of conditioning in sports?

In sports, it is referred to as the process of intensive training to become physically fit through tons of exercise, rest, and a healthy diet.

It helps to reduce an athlete’s susceptibility to injury and thus an improved performance in contrast to poor conditioning. Athletes are supposed to cover all the aspects of fitness in a sport to prevent the risk of poor performance.

What is conditioning in high school sports?

What does conditioning in sports mean?
Two friends exercise together at the gym, using rowing machines to stay fit. Photo: Hinterhaus Productions
Source: Getty Images

In high school, athletes engage in exercises that increase their muscle intensity at a slower rate, making their bones and joints adapt to that particular exercise. As a result, it helps high school athletes to be formidable in their discipline.

No one can just start playing a football game without any training and working up to the level of the required intensity.

Why is conditioning important in sports?

These sports programs have more benefits in the long run and are designed to help athletes in their day-to-day endeavours.

  • Helps prevent athletes from getting injuries.
  • Improves the performance of an individual athlete.
  • Improves the strength of an athlete to hit, block, throw, and kick.
  • It helps in enhancing speed, sprinting, and agility.
  • Helps the athlete to be more powerful.
  • The confidence of the athlete is also improved and thus the performance.

Principles of physical conditioning

They are mainly based on the personality and adaptation of an athlete. According to various online sources, here are the six principles that govern the smooth running of the training process.


To adapt and be consistent, it requires training with greater stimulus than that which the body is used to. This can be achieved by increasing the duration, intensity, and frequency of training.


In periodization, overloading should occur at an optimal level with a given duration to maximize performance. Overloading may lead to poor performances or injuries, but when done at a slower rate, it may lead to no or little improvement.


There are unique responses from people with the same training stimuli due to individual characteristics such as age, body shape and size, gender, and past injuries. The training should then be adjusted to serve the needs of the individual.


During training, the muscles are adapted to specific kinds of intensity, metabolic demands, movements, and activities.


As time passes, the trainee becomes more experienced gradually.


With time, the effects of training will be lost if there is no consistency. Therefore, one ought to be consistent in training.

Qualities of sports conditioning personal trainers

Why is conditioning important in sports?
A trainer leads a group of people in boot camp exercises. Photo: Mike Powell
Source: Getty Images

Personal trainers should possess a list of qualities for the effective training of athletes. In addition, they should possess an extensive foundation of knowledge in areas concerning personal training.

Here are some of the qualities a personal trainer should have.

  • Should be an effective motivator.
  • Detail-oriented and organized according to plan.
  • Should be perceptive. This can be achieved by implementing sports conditions programs to ensure proper training at all times.
  • A great communicator.

Training programs vary according to various sports. Although most people do not understand what conditioning is in sports, taking part in it helps athletes outshine other athletes who are at the same level in terms of skills.

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Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.